Sufi travel

Travelling is of four kinds (according to Khwaja Moinoddin Chishti R.A):

· travelling with a purpose
· travelling for inner contentment
· travelling of tariqat
· travelling of haqiqat

Travelling with a purpose is done to perform one’s work, for instance to go somewhere with the purpose of trade and so on.

Travelling for inner contentment is this that one makes this travel for the sake of pleasing God. Travels of inner contentment are undertaken in a spirit of faqr (spiritual poverty) and contentment by those who do not talk…

Travels of tariqat are those which the pilgrims undertake for the sake of pilgrimage, but the real seekers do not perceive in that the perfume of the knowledge of God.

Travels of haqiqat cannot be obtained without the help of a real spiritual guide, but are acquired by the training of a perfect spiritual guide and by obedience in the way of the prophet and by preserving nearness to God.

Be a traveller and travel always,
But be careful of wells and mountains.
Travel by your heart,
As the world is not the place for covering distances.

“The heart of the momin (the one with faith) is the house of unification” and in unification of the heart is the hajj of the poor. It is not for everyone to attain the inner unification. When the inner attainment of the heart is reached, then through repeated recitations and remembrances in the heart and inner obedience the true seeker reaches the place of unification of unification. That beauty of beauties is attained in eternal unification and is the contemplation of real beauty.

O, beloved one! That prayer in which, while performing the different movements of prayer, the difference between ‘you and I’ remains, is not the prayer to God.

When absorbed deeply in the love of God,
Mere formalities of prayer are not observed.
Unless there is strong faith in the Oneness of God
Mere observance of formalities is not the means of approach to God.

That prayer is not of God which is outwardly worship of God, but is in reality of the ego.

The praying of lovers is a secret.
It is known only by those who are always praying.
The ignorant worshipper does not know,
That the soul of the lover is always in prayer.

When the lover sees the beauty of his Beloved in privacy,
No one else should come in between.

Going into retreat is of three kinds, that is to say, retreat of nasut, of malakut and of jabarut. Abdulah Ansari has said that, through the training of the murshid the real seeker reaches the nearness of God in ten years. Shibli has said that it is in three years and Dhu’n-Nun al-Mesri has said that the nearness of God can be attained in the third retirement.

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